Winter flowering shrubs are a great option that you can use to add a bit of color to your landscape during the cold and often dreary months that separate fall and spring. There are a surprising number of shrubs that can grow and flower during the winter months, though there is a bit of a trick to choosing them. That trick is to know what your growing zone is. While there are a wide variety of shrubs that you can choose from, often they have a limiting factor on where they can grow well.
The winter flowering shrubs that are described here will also have the growing zones that they grow best in included as well. That way, you will be able to choose the best possible shrubs for your particular area, and for your needs.
- Pussy willow. Also known by the scientific name of Salix discolor, is a particularly hardy shrub that can grow up to 25 feet tall in zones two through seven. Once it blooms during the late winter, the blossoms take on a powdery silver color that seems to appear out of no where on the bare stems. While it may be native to swampy areas, it also does particularly well in landscapes and can add some much needed winter texture.
- Vernal witch hazel. This beautiful shrub can produce clusters of blooms that come in yellow, orange, or reddish orange, and will bloom from late winter through the change of the season to early spring. Hamamelis vernalis is another shrub that can grow to be rather tall in the right temperature conditions (typically found in regions three through eight). One of the nice things about this type of winter flowering shrub is that it is a very forgiving plant that doesn't really need any specific type of soil, sun, or watering requirements.
- Winter honeysuckle. Lonicera fragrantissima will grow in zones four through nine, and has come to be known as the "breath of spring" since it usually blooms in the late winter through to change of season. Yet another shrub that can grow tall (at 10 feet) if given the right type of soil conditions. That means that you will need to plant this type of shrub into an area that doesn't get particularly wet, with plenty of drainage, and which is preferably in full sun. If you do find that you need to prune this shrub, then wait to do so after you have seen the blossoms, as you will know that it is then safe.
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